Anna and Charlie Harrisson have two young boys, but with £16,000, want a compact Sports Utility Vehicle with room for two child seats that can thrive in London and the countryside.
A Car for the Head
A compact 4x4? Well that could be the Ford Kuga and the great thing for Anna and Charlie is that while it doesn't feel like a great big off-roader, it comes with all the four-wheel-drive ability that they will need when they go to the countryside in deep winter. However, I would also like them to realise that it is possible to transform the behaviour of a "normal" car with winter tyres. For a few hundred pounds a useful estate car will have grippy rubber during the coldest snaps. Potentially instead of a Ford Kuga, a cheaper and more frugal Ford Focus estate car with winter tyres may be one answer. If they stick with the Kuga, £15,000 buys a 2009 2.0TD Titanium with 24,000 miles, lots of equipment and a heated windscreen.
A Car for the Heart
If Anna and Charlie want a 4x4 with a bit more character then they could go for the Skoda Yeti (below). Funky name, funky looks. To succeed, though, it needs to offer good old-fashioned practicality to a young family. Well, there is plenty of room for five adults and it has a great rear-seating system which folds, flips and removes if required. Interestingly, the Roomster version of this model, which has a higher roofline and does without four-wheel drive, is slightly more spacious. So potentially Anna and Charlie could go for the Roomster then just add winter tyres. The choice is theirs: £15,000 buys a 2011 Yeti 2.0 TDi CR S; alternatively, a more economical 2011 Roomster 1.6TDI with half the mileage (6,000) will cost the same. James Ruppert
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